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Kate Dehler

IN THIS ISSUE

Tips for a first-time interviewer

Tunde Oyeneyin says dream jobs are overrated

Spain's history-making PTO

 
 

Editor's Note

 
 

Good morning. I’m going to tell you about one of the most imaginative book clubs ever.

It’s a newsletter called Dracula Daily. Matt Kirkland, the web developer who created it, has been sending snippets of Bram Stoker’s classic novel, Dracula, to subscribers’ inboxes until they finish the whole thing.

Here’s where it gets fun. For those who haven’t revisited the book since AP English, Dracula is what’s known as an epistolary novel, meaning it consists of letters, journal entries, and newspaper clippings—each with a date assigned to them. The novel takes place from May 3 to November 7, so Kirkland’s subscribers receive the selection on the dates that they occured in the book.

While Dracula is a Gothic novel, it’s got me feeling pretty romantic. Dracula Daily is the kind of shared cultural experience that’s been obliterated by bingeable streaming shows and algorithmically curated social media platforms. In just weeks, a devoted community of Dracula readers who post jokes, memes, fan art, and other hilarious commentary on the novel as they experience it together has formed.

There’s just one catch: The epilogue takes place seven years later. Call it the ultimate cliffhanger.

—Neal Freyman

 

CULTURE

 
 

Q&A

 

Icebreakers with…Peloton star Tunde Oyeneyin

Tunde Oyeneyin headshot Tunde Oyeneyin

There may be nothing more motivational than Janet Jackson blasting through your speakers and Tunde Oyeneyin telling you that you can crank up your resistance. The Houston native has become one of Peloton’s biggest celebs. She leads up to 20,000 fans in her community-oriented classes and recently inked a partnership with Nike.

Morning Brew chatted with Oyeneyin about dream jobs and getting comfortable in the gym.

What was your life like before you discovered cycling?

I grew up in Houston, Texas. My parents immigrated here from Nigeria to live the American Dream, to provide a life better than they had for their children. And so, if you’re a child of immigrant parents, you understand at a very young age to make the most of this opportunity. So I moved from Houston to LA when I was 20-something years old to become a celebrity makeup artist. I was a makeup artist and educator [for a cosmetic brand] for 15 years.

I had my dream car, I was living in a fancy apartment in Los Angeles, I no longer had to check the price of the menu to go to a restaurant. This was a big moment. All of that to say, I’d worked my butt off to land this dream job. The dream job arrives and then I realize I hate it. I found myself in this space of being so uncertain about what I was supposed to do next. But in hindsight, the beauty of uncertainty is that it offers infinite possibility. When you don’t know what’s next, anything can be next. You’re no longer limiting yourself on the scale of what you think you should be doing next. And that’s kind of how I found my way to fitness.

What would you say to someone pursuing what they think is their dream career?

I think we’re always trying to chase something. So if you are simply fixated on the end goal: caution, caution. When you get there, you won’t be able to enjoy it. If you cannot find joy in [the journey], you will not find joy in the finish line. That’s a fact.

You’ve said one of your goals as a Nike global ambassador is to make fitness more accessible to women and those who might be more uncomfortable in a gym. Why is this so important to you?

When I first started working out, I was a cardio junkie. That’s the only thing I did. The gym that was near my house in Texas, when you walked in, the left would be the free weight area and toward the right would be cardio. I’d look over at the cardio section and it was mostly women and it looked much less intimidating. It wasn’t until I actually picked up weights that I understood my power, not just physically, but my power internally.

I am so humbled, thrilled, that women see me as this strong, muscular body type and feel this sense of freedom that it’s okay for women to look powerful. Historically, fitness was predominantly a white man’s sport. So to be a Black woman with muscles and no hair in this space, I think that says a lot.

This interview has been edited and condensed from an episode of Business Casual. You can hear more about Oyeneyin’s first spin class and her new book here.

     
 
Manscaped
 

WORK LIFE

 

I was put on an interview panel and have no idea what I’m doing

Make it work image

Each week, our workplace whisperer Shane Loughnane answers a reader-submitted question about problems at work. Anything nagging at you? Ask Shane here.

We’re hiring a person for our team and my boss has put me on the interview panel. I’ve never interviewed a single person in my life and haven’t gotten much guidance. How do you suggest approaching the interview? I have no idea what to ask.—Pam from Michigan

Occasionally life imitates art, and while it’s not like I’m rooting for my favorite Step Brothers scene to play out here, Pam, I’m just saying that your name gives it a chance. Maybe have some business cards on you, just in case?

With that potential problem remedied, let’s talk interview prep. It’s amazing how many interviewers prepare 10 minutes out, if at all, and it generally shows. Since you’re part of a panel, I would highly recommend making a game plan with the other interviewers. While logistical details may seem trivial, figuring out things like, “Are we going to alternate asking questions?” can make a big difference in presenting a polished experience to the candidate. On the other hand, coming up with your questions in a vacuum will almost certainly guarantee a repetitive and nonlinear conversation. It really ought to be a collaborative process.

As for the questions, I would consider how you are going to interact with this candidate in your role and go from there. What’s important to you in a teammate and what type of questions can you ask that will measure that? Spend some focused time reviewing the candidate’s resume and other application materials. Invite them to elaborate on details that you find interesting or relevant. As the interview unfolds, ask follow-up questions: You want to be prepared, but not rigid. The best interviews tend to be more of a conversation, so allow yourself the freedom to go off-script and dig deeper based on what you’re hearing.

While the questions you ask are important, place equal emphasis on the environment that you want to help create. The more you can put the candidate at ease, the more comfortable they’ll be and the better the odds that you’ll get to see what they’re going to be like to work with on a daily basis—which, as a prospective teammate, should really be your main goal.

Of course if Will Ferrell shows up in a tux, all bets are off.

Share your workplace conundrum with Make It Work here.

     
 

ANALYSIS

 

Spain considers period time off

The Minister of Equality, Irene Montero, participates in an appearance after the meeting of the Council of Ministers, on 17 May, 2022 in Madrid, Spain. During the intervention they have informed that the Government has approved the draft bill on abortion despite the fact that it continues to negotiate some of the points on which the different ministries do not agree. The Minister of Equality, Irene Montero. Europa Press News/Getty Images

Spain’s government approved a draft bill this week that would create a nationwide menstrual leave policy for workers—meaning that if a woman gets a doctor’s note for severe period pain, they would be eligible to take government-funded PTO. The bill still has to be approved by the country’s legislature, where it’s expected to face some pushback. But if passed, Spain would make history by becoming the first European country to offer workers this benefit.

As it stands, menstrual leave is about as common as a tampon commercial without women dancing in white pants. Only a few countries offer some form of menstrual leave: Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, and Zambia. But none offer a policy quite as robust as Spain’s.

How the debate played out in Spain

The policy’s supporters, such as Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and the Minister of Equality Irene Montero, who introduced the bill, say it would be a meaningful step in destigmatizing menstruation. “The period is going to stop being a taboo,” Montero said.

But other lawmakers have been critical of the proposal. A speaker for the far-right party Vox called it “insulting,” and a major trade organization in the country said the bill could actually end up hurting women in the workforce. Some government officials and workplace experts worry that the bill would further stigmatize menstruating workers and feed into the sexist stereotype that periods can make someone too emotional or irrational to do their job.

  • Sometimes that once-a-month debilitating back pain and nausea combo does make you bad at your job, research shows. Between 50%–90% of women experience pain during periods, and 33% responded that the pain prevents them from performing daily activities.

One curveball with a paid period leave policy: people who menstruate may not use it. In Japan, where paid period leave has been around the longest, dating back to 1947, the policy has seen a steep decline in use.

  • In 1965, around 26% of women in Japan reportedly took menstrual leave. In 2022, the share who said they’ve used it “almost every time” was just 1.9%.
  • The top reason they cited for not using their allotted leave is wanting to avoid having an awkward conversation with their male boss or colleagues.

Another option? More (or unlimited) sick PTO that can be used however an employee chooses. But these kinds of policies are most commonly implemented on a company-to-company basis, whereas Spain’s sweeping menstrual leave law would likely cover low-wage workers, for whom ample PTO would likely not otherwise be available.—MM

     
 
BetterHelp
 

REAL ESTATE

 

Open house

Welcome to Open House, the only newsletter section that sold MiamiCoin before it tanked. We’ll give you a few facts about a listing and you try to guess the price.

26-acre Pumpkin Key island. Views from the dock at sunset and sunrise, arial view of the island, and photos of the pool and house.Private Islands Inc

Today’s property is your own private island that’s just a 10-minute helicopter ride from Miami’s glam South Beach. The island is called Pumpkin Key because we guess it sort of looks like a pumpkin, but who really cares? It could be named Onion Cove and it would still rock. It covers 26 acres and has a dock built for a mega-yacht. Amenities include:

  • 3-bedroom main home
  • Private (obviously) tennis court
  • Access to the exclusive Ocean Reef community
  • Lobster fishing holes you can finally brag about

How much for a cozy little retreat after hobnobbing with the crypto influencers at the 17th bitcoin conference of the year?

     
 

RECS

 

Just click it

  1. Super flower blood moon—in pictures. (The Guardian)
  2. The story of the made-up “Icelandic Fish Festival.” (Séamas O'Reilly)
  3. YouTube lawyers are getting famous covering the Depp–Heard trial. (Input)
  4. Olivia Colman’s greatest speeches at award ceremonies. (Scarlett Hill)
  5. How Japanese anime became the world’s most bankable genre. (The Hollywood Reporter)
  6. How long-term space missions change the brain. (Big Think)
  7. The many, many costs of breastfeeding. (Vox)
  8. Outdoor poop etiquette is changing. (Outside)
  9. The Yankees fan who lost his autographed baseball cards. (ESPN)
  10. In photos: An inside look at IBM’s quantum computing lab. (Emerging Tech Brew)

Because vacations shouldn’t be stressful. Travel mishaps happen (read this article about some of our doozies), but you can safeguard your trips with travel insurance from battleface. Now sit back, relax, and delete (temporarily, sigh) those work apps from your phone.*

*This is sponsored advertising content.

 

CONTEST

 

Meme competition

Welcome back to Morning Brew’s Meme Competition, where we crown a single memelord every Sunday.

Today’s winner: Chris in Chicago, IL. Call us old-fashioned but we want our cake to look like a cake, not a hot dog.

Jane Lynch meme

This week’s challenge: You can find the new template here for next Sunday. Once you’re done making your meme, submit it at this link for consideration.

 

ANSWER

 

$95 million

         

Written by Neal Freyman, Matty Merritt, Max Knoblauch, and Jamie Wilde

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